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DDM loses nearly 40 years of investment in technology

Governor Augustus Jaspert

Governor Augustus Jaspert has disclosed that the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), which has transitioned to the National Emergency Operations Centre, recently lost its building as well as ‘nearly 40 years of investment in technology and equipment’.

The items lost during recent hurricanes are important to monitor and provide early warning of hazards that can threaten the British Virgin Islands, the governor said.

“Efforts are being made to restore the department’s National Emergency Broadcasting System which includes sirens, monitoring devices, and communications networks essential for any disaster management system, along with the department’s building – which were also destroyed,” added Governor Jaspert.

Meanwhile, the DDM was not the only entity that lost communications technology.

In addition to telecoms companies, radio and television stations were also affected, according to the Third Situation Analysis of Hurricane Irma presented by the DDM and the National Emergency Operations Centre.

“The  antennas for 90.9FM and 92.3FM, which were located on the LIME’s Tower at Chalwell, were both destroyed, thus shutting down both radio stations. Channel 51 transmits via BVI Cable TV, and that  connection was disrupted because of damage  to cable system. Work has begun to resume  broadcasting on Caribbean Broadcast
Network (BVI),” added the report.

“One local television station, JTV, has  established operations out of the National Emergency Operations Centre communications center to assist with providing local news coverage and documentary footage on Hurricane Irma response and relief activities.”

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6 Comments

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  1. Ting to talk says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Well, at least we still have Brandywine Bay and BVI Airways!

  2. Albion says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    That is ironic – the Government department responsible for disaster preparedness was so badly prepared that it lost everything. A sad story indeed.

  3. where? says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    The BVI needs an emergency back up plan that is at an offsite/off island trusted location.

    Tap some of the retired and 2nd career military BVI locals who live on the island for their expertise. They would make a good fit in disaster management, they have secret clearances that would serve you will for this kind of job. If you ask I am sure you will find them out there.

    Form cooperative agreements with other governmental partners outside of the Caribbean basin to help out. Dont be too proud the ask US, UK, Germany, Africa etc. for subject matter expertise.

    And you all need to stop being so stubborn and thick headed its an embarrassment to those of us living abroad when we read ignorant stuff online. We do our best to represent well and then you open the online news and we put our heads down.

    • Caribbean Girl says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Agreed. Good idea. It only shows total ignorance being stubborn to get help. Except, that when you get help, people want accountability. Perhaps that is the problem?

  4. E. Leonard says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    After a storm passes, first responders and essential personnel are expected to be ready and able to deliver vital services, i.e., medical, utilities……….etc.

    As such, they need to rideout hurricanes in shelters than can resist Cat 4 and 5 hurricane force winds so that they are able to deliver services.

    In addition to resisting strong winds, the rideout shelters should to maximum extent practical be sited outside of surge zones and above basic flood elevation.

    Suggest constructing hurricane rideout domes. During normal operations, they can be used as administrative spaces and as rideout shelters for first responders and essential personnel during emergencies. They can also be used as temporary operational/work centers after hurricane events.

    • Caribbean Girl says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      @E Leonard

      Good ideas indeed. But we waste money in Cruise Ship Pier (and they can’t come now), QE II Park, Airlines (that don’t fly), Beach projects washed away into the sea, but not in what is vital for safety in a major disaster.

      Priorities are wrong…

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